|Team||Sauber F1 Team|
Sauber F1 Team
“The Singapore Grand Prix is a unique event. The atmosphere and excitement is special, because it’s a night race, it’s right in the middle of the city and the crowd is great. Singapore is a tough circuit in terms of how it affects the driver physically."
“I’m quite used to racing in hot conditions, especially at the beginning of my career competing in Mexico at 45 degrees, but the difference in Singapore is the humidity. It impacts on concentration, so that means preparation is very important.”
Esteban Guttierrez, Sauber F1 driver
The country of Switzerland is hardly the most likely place in which to base a Formula One™ team. In fact since 1955, and despite various efforts to overturn the legislation, motor racing is actually legally banned in the country. Yet despite that and against all odds Peter Sauber created and has run one of the sport’s most enduring teams.
Sauber created his Formula One team™ in 1993, after more than a decade of success in sports car racing including victory at the Le Mans 24-Hours and back-to-back titles in the FIA World Sports Car Championship in partnership with Mercedes.
Peter Sauber’s entry into Grand Prix racing was at the time, very much a toe-hold for Mercedes-Benz. In its inaugural year the team ran with ran with Ilmor V10 engines, produced by a British company that was subsequently acquired by Mercedes to form the Mercedes-Benz Racing Engines company operating today.
Equally important to the sport has been Sauber’s ability to recognise and develop young talent. During his sports car racing days, Sauber identified a young driver called Michael Schumacher and paid from his own pocket to fund the German’s 1991 Belgian Grand Prix debut. Other ‘young guns’ recruited by Sauber have included Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and, not least Sebastian Vettel.
During the seasons 2006 to 2010 the team acquired “factory” status, as the Formula One™ operation of BMW, winning their first Grand Prix with Robert Kubica in Canada in 2008. Upon the Bavarian manufacturers’ withdrawal from the sport, Sauber bought back the company and it has since reverted to competing proudly as an independent outfit, with Ferrari engines.
Recent seasons have seen a steady improvement in results. In 2012, Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi scored podium finishes in Malaysia, Canada, Italy and Japan. Last season saw a slow start for Nico Hulkenberg and rookie Esteban Guttierez, but the Sauber car clearly suited the mid-season tyre revisions. The team scored 50 of its 57 season points in the last eight rounds.
For 2014, the Sauber driver line-up of Estaban Gutiérrez and Adrian Sutil is supported by test drivers Sergei Sirotkin of Russia, Giedo van der Garde of the Netherlands and Simona De Silvestro of Switzerland, who joins Susie Wolff of Williams as the second woman driver in Formula One™ this season.